Ok, this is a simple problem that could cost hours of grief and tons of $$$ if not recognized early. Even better - it's a cheap and easy fix.
Applicability: Ignition Keys with the remote lock system. I suspect this must apply thoughout the Dodge/Chrysler model lines but it is certainly true for my '05 Magnum. The older your key...the more likely it will happen. Mine are just less than 2 yrs. old with moderate use on the one that failed.
Problem: Car will start and run briefly (2 sec.) then die. Further attempts to start it without removing the key won't even fire. In my case it first showed up in traffic when the car just quit when waiting for a light to change. So watch out, it could happen anytime.
Cause: A button cell battery (#2032) in the key is used to power a transmitter that sends a unique key code to the car so that it will continue running. This is discussed in my '05 owner's manual, pages 11-14. If the battery is weak or the transmitter fails - you are stuck.
Symptoms: I'd noticed my unlock range was getting pretty short - maybe 20 to 30 feet (normally it's out to 100+ft). The car was hard to start occassionally and twice had died or stumbled with no OBDII codes reported. After about 2 months of this erratic behavior, it failed completely. I could unlock the car manually and everything seemed to function. It just wouldn't start and run.
Fix: 1. Using a small phillips screwdriver, remove the retaining screw on the back of the key.
2. You'll then need to use a small flat screwdriver to pop the back off of the key.
3. Lift the circuit board from the key housing.
4. Slide the battery sideways from the holder. Throw it away so you don't get it confused with the new one sitting beside you.
5. Insert the new (about $3 ea.) battery and reverse the process.
6. Lastly...and just as important, find your spare key and replace it's battery as well.
Difficulty: Easy, fast and cheap. You need to know how to run a screwdriver and have a $3 battery for each key. I'd guess that if you moved slowly it might take as long as 10 min. to fix two keys. In the time it took to write this, I could have changed all the batteries in a small fleet.
I hope this saves someone from having a tow-truck call, hours stranded and a mind numbing repair bill for something so simple.
I had no idea that this could be a potential issue, so when our car struggled to start a bit in the morning, we chalked it up to cold weather, thought we'd take it to our mechanic next door the next day to have it checked out. It started when my husband left work to go to school, but at 10:30 on a cold night when he got out of class, it was dead. $200 tow back to our house, $45 from our mechanic to tell us to just contact our dealer, and $217 for a new key (YES, $217 for a new key) it is a very expensive lesson. (Oh, plus the cab fares to work, daycare, etc.)
My question is this: Is this something that is/should be covered by warranty? We also have an 05 Magnum that we purchased in October 2004, we have the 3 year warranty and the 7 year powertrain, but if this is an issue Dodge is aware of, and there's no way to get a non-computer chipped key, should I really be out all of that money? For a key?
After reading your post, I called the service guy working on my car at the dealership, and he claimed that it isn't covered, and also that there's no way it was a battery issue, the chip was corrupt and they needed to program a whole new key for us. Infuriating, all around.
My big thing is that we are a one-car family, and we opted to trust the dependability of a Dodge, and we've been pleased with it for 2 years, but seriously? Is it going to "go corrupt" every 2 years, and I'll spend $1,000 on keys if I keep the car for 10 years??
Sorry, just needed to vent. I feel like I should really have some other recourse, but Dodge said I do not. Honestly the most frustrating and angering day of my life (in recent memory, anyway).
time for me to pick up a new battery..
Thank You Haz
I just changed out the batteries in both of my keys. Both keys had the well known broken battery clip problem. I had a friend at work solder both back into place. The clip is broken in 2 places and is only holding on by one solder joint. Re-solder it in both broken places and it's good to go.
Just recently at 42,000 km on my magnum the key stopped working. The dealership tried reprogramming the key which failed. They ended up just replacing the key under warranty. I would have been extremely mad if they had tried to make me pay for it.
I swap all my remote key batteries on my birthday. Cheap insurance in the long run. One other suggestion. While you have two working keys, now is the time to buy another one. You can get one on EBay for about $50 delivered. You need two working keys to program a third and instructions are included. It does need to be cut to fit your ignition.
I have a great relationship with my dealer and they cut it for no charge.
The extra key now resides at my friend's car wash, just in case the car is accidently locked.
A good friend will come and bail you out of jail...but, a true friend will be sitting in the cell next to you saying, "Damn...that was fun!"
first of all, welcome tt dexter and akoc0376. glad you could join us.
i'll start by saying, you can remove the batteries from the key fob and your car will still start. there are two seperate systems at work here, VTSS (Vehicle Theft Security System/factory alarm) and SKIS (Sentry Key Immobilizer System). the batteries are only used for the transmission of a radio wave signal to disable VTSS (Vehicle Theft Security System/factory alarm).
there is a transponder inside the key which gets excited when in close proximity to the SKREEM/WCM (Sentry Key Remote Entry Electronic Module/Wireless Control Module) antenna (halo ring around ignition key hole). once excited, the key transponder transmits a secret key code to the SKREEM/WCM. this works the same way as MOBIL Speedpass, no batteries required. the SKREEM/WCM will then transmit this secret key code information to the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) to allow engine operation.
if, for any reason (read broken battery clip), the key fob fails to transmit a VTSS signal to the SKREEM, the result will be RKE (Remote Keyless Entry) inoperation and, when opening the driver's door using the key lock cylinder, activation of the VTSS alarm. however, the VTSS alarm can still be disarmed by turning the ignition key on. by doing this (key on), the SKREEM/WCM signal (Sentry Key portion) will disable the VTSS alarm. you may also get a "low battery" warning in EVIC (Electronic Vehicle Information Center).
if, however, the SKIS transponder in the key fails to transmit a valid secret key code to the SKREEM/WCM, the result will be a start/stall condition accompanied by a flashing red dot in the instrument cluster. after repeated attempts, the engine starter will be disabled until the PCM receives a valid key signal from the SKREEM/WCM.
they keys should be covered under the provisions of the basic (3/36) warranty.
hope this sheds some light on VTSS and SKIS operation.
Give that Man a 6-Pack !!!!!
Thanks for the info much appreciated as always !!
more beans for Fnkychkn !!!
Last edited by TWIST3D BLACK MAG; 12-04-2006 at 07:32 PM.
Custom Signature by Hazman
Georgia LX Club:
fnky....... you're like Yoda!
FRI Econo Heads & FRI Sidewinder: Installed @ BFNY by Hemi31 with special guest Fnkychkn, JBA Shorties, JBA/HHP hi-flow catted mids, stock SRT8 cat-back, C&L CAI.
HUGE thanks to Hemiwagn and HalfFast Performance for making it all possible.
Yoda with a 6 pack... picture that will ya. I had to read that a couple of times before I digested all that Fnky said.
Get a spare key while you have two working keys and program it to work with you vehicle. It is easy to do and cheap insurance. I got one from one of the vendors here and did it.
I took it to Home Depot and they cut it for free.
Enjoy life- you only get one!!
You can get a spare key (not remote, just a spare key with chip) from ebay for around $13 including shipping. This is a very cheap insurance towards the loss or destruction of an existing key.
With two keys, you can program a third easily.
With only 1 key you must shell out bucks to the dealer...big bucks. Right now I have 4 "keys" programmed to my car. 1 of those gray head non-remote type keys, 2 factory remote keyfobs, and 1 remote start bypass module.
You can only have up to 4 keys programmed to the car at a time. If you program a 5th key, then key #1 will be dropped from the list of programmed keys. (I don't know if it can be re-learned after that... I don't really want to lose one of my remote keyfobs to test that theory...because in theory you can't program a key that has already been programmed to another car, but perhaps you can re-program a key that has been programmed to your car already in the past.)
Did the radiator cap mod: SRT8 is here....
The Hemi says, "VROOOM!" Hemi Registry #00420
i only have one key/fob to my car, would i be able to pick up another on ebay, then have the dealer program it, does anyone know the going price to have it done..